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Music Therapy for Children with Disabilities

By Pooja Sharma Subscribe to RSS | January 4th 2012 | Views:
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Music is a universal language. It is a form of successful therapeutic intervention for special children as it plays an important role in developing, maintaining and restoring physical and cerebral functioning. It is also effective in stimulating speech development and promotes cognitive and motor development for children afflicted with diseases.

What is Music Therapy?

Music therapy is based on the theory that ability to respond to music is an inborn quality in all human beings. But children those who are injured or disabled are unable to respond to the music as this ability gets unimpaired. This therapy aims to achieve therapeutic benefits by developing a musical relationship where emotions are expressed using music as a tool or medium to develop individuality, communication skills, confidence, motivation, creativity and self expression in children.

What do music therapists do?

First of all, music therapists assess physical health, cognitive skills, social functioning communication abilities and emotional well-being through musical responses in children. Then therapists make use of percussion or tuned instruments to see creative response made by the children and further therapists encourage children to make more such positive responses on musical notes. Basically, most approaches to music therapy rely on spontaneous musical improvisation.

It is found that some children have a strong preference for one type of sound and others may find it intolerable, therefore individualistic approach is used for children with different disabilities.

What are benefits of music therapy?

Basically, main benefits of music therapy are that it creates certain context of sounds which makes special children feel comfortable to express their wide range of emotions.

Music therapy is helpful in curing children, adults, adolescents, and the elderly afflicted with mental disease, developmental and learning disabilities, Alzheimer's disease and other related conditions, certain abuse tribulations, brain injuries, physical disabilities, and other acute and chronic pain, including mothers in labor.

It helps in curing diseases like - autistic spectrum disorder, Down’s syndrome, cerebral palsy learning difficulties, epilepsy, certain emotional behavioral concerns, communication problems, neurological conditions, sexual abuse, stress, addiction etc.

Music Therapy helps:

• Developing ability to listen

• It improves physical , emotional and cognitive development

• It relieves tension anxiety and other unpleasant negative emotions

• Improves social, motor and communication skills

• Also, provides self- awareness, creativity, confidence, motivation and choice.

• Minimizes isolation and helps in overcoming stress

• Builds positive relationship with therapists, family and friends.

Where music therapy can be prove to be useful?

Music therapy is useful in special schools and NGOs who nurture special children including those children who are afflicted with mild and severe learning difficulties. It is also useful in Pre-school and assessment centers for children with special needs.

Pooja Sharma - About Author:
Sparsh aim is to empower underprivileged children with necessary skills to manage life on their own & welfare of all sections of the society-women, children and specially empowerment of mentally and physically challenged children. We have built Savera Special School, a school for destitute children with special needs.

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